The 10 Best Potty Training Books of 2022

Get your toddler set up for success with these books

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Potty training is a big rite of passage for all children—and their parents. It can be stressful, exciting, rewarding, and sometimes messy, and books are a great way to help you and your child learn how to navigate this time. The best potty training books will appeal to you and/or your child and match your parenting skills.

Reviewed & Approved

"Oh Crap! Potty Training" is a great read because it's easy to understand and implement the advice given. We also like "Pottery Training in 3 Days" because it sets a clear timeline and method on how to potty train your child.

Some books also provide a timeline to potty train kids, which some parents may find helpful because it sets a clear goal in a specific amount of time. Other features to look for include the author's credibility and durability (if you plan to read the book with your kid). We researched a variety of books with these features in mind.

Here are the best potty training books on the market.

Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right

Oh Crap! Potty Training

Courtesy of Amazon

We like this book because gives advice that is easy to implement. Written by acclaimed “potty training expert,” Jamie Glowacki, it combines bathroom techniques combined with humor (as the title suggests). Focusing on kids ages 20 to 30 months, this guide provides six steps to successful potty training.

Part of the technique is instilling confidence in the parents to take the lead in the process. It helps answer questions like, "Why won't my child poop in the potty?" or "My kid was doing so well—why is he regressing?" and other common problems many parents face during this time. If a humorous and “tell it like it is” approach is for you, try this book.

Potty Training in 3 Days: The Step-by-Step Plan for a Clean Break from Dirty Diapers

Potty Training in 3 Days: The Step-by-Step Plan for a Clean Break from Dirty Diapers

Courtesy of Amazon

If you have the time at home, committing to a three-day strategy might be the right way to go. This method requires staying home for three days which is quite the commitment for families with little ones. While it could work during a snowed-in winter weekend, it may not be realistic for some families.

If you plan on using this technique, it’s helpful to read the whole book before the designated three days. That way, you’ll be armed with the supplies, info, and confidence you need to put your plan into practice.

Stress-Free Potty Training: A Commonsense Guide to Finding the Right Approach for Your Child

Stress-Free Potty Training: A Commonsense Guide to Finding the Right Approach for Your Child

Courtesy of Amazon

For a stress-free approach, the authors of this book recommend tailoring your approach by first determining your child’s personality. A quick quiz in the book will help parents figure out if their toddler is sensitive, stubborn, cautious, impulsive, goal-oriented, or still clinging to diapers.

Once that’s established, there are recommended methods and simple strategies for each type of kid. Parents are encouraged to take their child’s lead to develop an approach that works.

The No-Cry Potty Training Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Child Say Good-Bye to Diapers

The No-Cry Potty Training Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Child Say Good-Bye to Diapers

Courtesy of Amazon

Written by a bestselling parenting expert, this book promises a more gentle approach to potty training. With a potty-readiness quiz, the book promises to help parents find the right time in their child’s development to begin potty training.

From there, you can create a simple and effective potty plan that will motivate reluctant kids and help those that are ready. This book’s method touts an increase in children’s self-esteem and feelings of independence. There are also suggestions for a useful reward system, which may be helpful for some parents (and toddlers).

Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day: Proven Secrets of the Potty Pro

Whether you are intrigued by the idea of one-day potty training or under a deadline (hello preschool requirements!), this book could be worth a shot for some parents. Don’t expect miracles, but the author's positive approach and technique may work for some kids.

The book focuses on “potty parties” to take the tension and stress away from the training. It’s recommended that parents read the whole book before beginning the process with their kids. Since it’s just one day, you’ll need to know all the strategies and plans before you begin. 

Ready to Go Toilet Time Potty Training For Girls

Ready to Go Toilet Time Potty Training For Girls

Courtesy of Amazon

This educational book offers training tips for parents in an easy-to-digest format that can be read over and over to kids. The six steps are outlined in the book and are easy for kids to follow. With different books for boys and girls, kids will enjoy the 16 illustrated story pages along with the 48 colorful reward stickers. 

Kids and parents will love the familiar humor style of Mo Willems in this potty-focused kids' book. With a positive message and empowering plan, kids are reminded to focus on “that funny feeling.”

With sweet pictures of kids, sign-holding mice, and lots more, this book is a helpful guide for kids and can give parents some positive language to talk about the bathroom with their kids. The wisest words may be at the very end: “PS: Don’t worry if you didn’t get it right the first time, you’ll get another chance.”

Potty Time with Elmo

Potty Time with Elmo

 Courtesy of Walmart

A classic board book with sounds, this best-seller has been enjoyed by over 2.3 million potty-trainers and counting! The friendly character of Elmo is learning how to use the potty and he’s helping his baby doll, David.

Together, they will guide your toddler through the adventure. Seven interactive sound buttons will bring the story to life through Elmo’s encouraging words, flushing and washing sounds, and more. For any Elmo fan, this book is sure to be a bathroom companion.

Everyone Poops

Everyone Poops

Courtesy of Amazon

Considered a potty training essential by many parents, the title says it all. This book shows how all creatures, including humans, digest their food and then poop. Kids will find the book humorous and enjoyable.

Parents will (hopefully) appreciate the lesson the book is instilling. Reminding kids of the process can help reluctant potty-goers, especially if they are still insisting on diapers to make bowel movements.

Once Upon A Potty

Once Upon A Potty

Courtesy of Amazon

With versions for girls and boys, you may have read these sweet books when you were a kid and now your potty-training toddler can enjoy them, too. The timeless story empowers kids to see and understand the how and why of going to the potty.

For boys, Joshua is there to guide them and girls will meet Prudence. The clear and simple books are well-loved classics for a reason.

What to Look for in Potty Training Books

Audience

Potty training books are geared toward the parents or the kids—and occasionally to both. So, first off, you'll want to decide if you want to get a book to read to your toddler or if you're looking for nitty-gritty toilet training strategies and wisdom that you can put to use. Another option is to get one book to teach you an effective approach and then another to share with your child that will get them acclimated to the toileting process.

Steps That Make Sense for You

There are tons of books touting different potty training techniques. The key is to find one that resonates with you. So, review the approaches of various books to determine which ones make the most sense to you. Also, consider which techniques may fit best with your child's needs and personality. This screening process works whether the book is for you or your child. Ultimately, you'll want to pick the one that reflects your parenting style best.

Timeline

It's usually recommended to look for readiness signs in your child before potty training—and to be flexible on timing as needed. That said, sometimes, you have a set timeline in mind. There are many books that promise techniques to potty train your child in a set number of days, such as six, three, or just one day. If a set timeline approach appeals to you, you may want to select a book that is geared toward that goal.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I know if my child is ready for potty training?

    Toilet-training readiness varies among children. Some kids are ready at 18 months, others need until age 3 or later. Look for readiness signs, such as making a face when going to the bathroom, interest in using the potty, and having longer periods of keeping their diaper clean and dry. Consult your child's pediatrician to help you determine the right time to begin potty training.

  • What age is ideal for potty training?

    The ideal age for potty training varies greatly from child to child. Some kids easily potty train before age 2, while others don't master toileting until after they've turned 4. Most will learn between the ages of 2 and 3. However, setting a rigid timeline may backfire. The key is to understand that toddlers will reach this milestone when they are ready.

  • What is the three-day method for potty training?

    The three-day method for potty training is just what it sounds: a toilet training technique that takes just three days. While there are several different books on this approach, the main premise is that the parent spends three solid days teaching their child to use the bathroom. This strategies requires a big short-term commitment but may pay off in getting your child potty trained quicker.

  • How long does potty training last?

    The time potty training takes varies dramatically among children. Some kids can be fully potty trained in one day, others may take weeks or months to be accident-free. How long it takes your child will depend on their unique temperament, physical and emotional development, and any special needs, as well as your approach to toilet training and family dynamic.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She's also the mom of a 10-year-old son, a 6-year-old son, and a 2-year old daughter. Thankfully all three are potty trained. The boys both learned by enjoying “peeing on a tree” in their backyard and her daughter has a quarantine to thank for learning how to use the potty.

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2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. Creating a toilet training plan.

  2. American Academy of Pediatrics. How to tell when your child is ready.